David Stevens

Posts Tagged ‘Pseudopod’

Hear my song!

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm

Image result for hear my song film

I loved that film! From a time before Superintendent Ted Hastings was running down bent coppers and anyone who doesn’t do things by the book. See the picture, Adrian Dunbar can smile. “I’ve been born in peace time. I haven’t been where you’ve been. I haven’t seen what you’ve seen.”

I digress, we’re talking about MY song. But not really.

Podcasts. If you prefer to read with your eyes closed, or with your hands free, or some such thing or combination, three of my stories are available for your ezy-listening pleasure. Just click on the links to be taken to the horror destination of your choice.

“If he looked out of the window now, into the night, he knew that there would be no street, no sky. Just a dim hallway, thin walls rattling with the wind tunnelling though it, rain dripping from a soggy ceiling. This is all that there is.” Good Boy

“His shame was exposed, the scar where a shell splinter had torn through his groin and ripped away his manhood. Albert no longer cared. He was counting the moments until he died.” Some corner of a Dorset field that is forever Arabia

“Transformation by force: a man enters the shop at noon. He walks through the door to the tinkle of the bell. Once inside, he reaches around and throws the bolt of the lock. He twists the sign from Open to Closed. He faces the woman in the store as she stands alone — the power of the words ‘in broad daylight’.” The gods of the gaps

Or perhaps you are an odd sort of bird, the type who actually wants to hear a song. Well, I suppose there is this:

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YMV

In Uncategorized on January 1, 2018 at 1:11 pm

I’m writing a story featuring a blind person, which led me by some circuitous and probably inappropriate path, to think that I should mention two of my stories that are available free for your listening pleasure, via podcast.

First up is my first ever published story, “Good Boy”, no longer in print, but available in audio in a slightly redacted version, on Pseudopod right here, just one click away.

“Some Corner of a Dorset Field that is Forever Arabia” can be read or listened to at Three Lobed Burning Eye, by clicking here. Your reader is yours truly, under the pseudonym Lloyd Connor, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but probably wasn’t. Delight in the fact that my written vocabulary is wider than my oral vocabulary! The story will be appearing again early this year under my own name.

Oh, and Happy New Year, Space Cadets!

Pseudopod Kickstarter

In Uncategorized on November 20, 2016 at 5:23 pm

I’m sure that all of the Escape Artist podcasts are worthy, but Pseudopod is the only one which has accepted a story of mine, so I’m very happy to mention their 10th anniversary kickstarter. They are so very close to meeting their target, head on over and check it out, and throw in a few bucks if you feel inclined (you can see why I’d be a failure as a car salesman). And don’t forget to check out my own Pseudopod story, ‘Good Boy’.

Bio? The letter ‘C’

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2014 at 8:01 am

Submissions require an author bio. I struggle with this. I look to others for inspiration. Some people include a half page of whimsy, at which I cringe, and have no publication credits, because they have not published anything. Others have a stream of credits, and of course, I can’t emulate that. Some list all the information demonstrating how they comply with a magazine’s wish for greater diversity, but everything about me is mainstream (or if its not, would only make sense to a few people within a small region in Sydney – perhaps). Still, I look for inspiration from others. Let’s begin with the letter ‘C’:

  • Career: There is of course the traditional writer’s gambit of listing the 372 jobs they have had, from lumberjack to polar bear trainer, or alternatively, describing the highly technical work they do to show they are the ‘science’ in ‘science fiction’. Until early this year, I worked in the same place for over two decades, and I’m in a profession that would want no connection with horror stories, so I keep that to myself.
  • Cats: I don’t get the cats. Everyone but me has cats. Cats kill at least around 4 million native animals in Australia each year. I like native animals. So no cats. Plus my dog died, and that was sad, and no one wants to hear about that in an author bio. Especially the details of peeing blood all over me.
  • Children: I have four children. I love them dearly. They are humans, not cats though, and I wonder if that upsets anyone. If you can see their pictures, it means you are the person who stole my wallet.
  • Clarion: haven’t been there. Not to east, west or even south (which I think doesn’t exist any more). So no Clarion workshop to put on the list. No doubt, that shows from my writing. When I publish something and I see another contributor has been to Clarion, for some reason that makes me feel good.
  • Cohabitation: I have a wife. She has a husband (me). I asked her to remind me how long we have been married. She paused before muttering ‘forever’. She encourages me to write. She encourages me not to talk about her here. So, enough.
  • Cool: I’m not. I’m old. That I was going to include here the phrase ‘hep cat’ says a great deal. Not hip, not a hipster. Neither am I a geek (though no doubt like most people, I would appear somewhere on the ‘nerd’ spectrum). I have no street cred. In Australia, I would be a ‘dag’. This is a reference to the dung encrusted wool at a sheep’s bum, so you can tell it is not a good thing.
  • Cultural activities: I watch too much television. I put that in my bio. Once. I read a lot. I have lots of things I used to do. I like bird watching. I dunno. (This is just getting worse…).

So I typically include some variation of: David Stevens (usually) lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and children. His stories have appeared in Crossed Genres, Aurealis and Three-Lobed Burning Eye magazines, Pseudopod podcast, and some small Australian literary magazines. One day he will finish his novel.

*Yawn*

Good Boy

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm

My story ‘Good Boy’ has been published by Pseudopod. Here is a link, it is about 19 minutes in.

I wrote many things over many years. I have boxes of notes and drafts. Occasionally I’d submit stories and collect rejection slips. Life, laziness, children, career, fear, all got in the way of taking things further.

Early last year, I decided to make a proper go of things. My daughter is ill. For a few months I was her full time carer, and then I returned to work part time. I did not have the concentration to work on a novel, and I had a need to finish something, so I decided to concentrate on short stories for a while. And of course, nobody was interested, but at that time, rejection did not hurt very much, so I kept doing it. It occupied my mind, gave me pleasure, helped to fill my days with something other than my daughter’s illness, or my worries about my career, or any of a hundred other things.

Then somebody liked something. Regime Books, a small literary venture in Western Australia, accepted my story ‘Good Boy’ for the third volume of their journal. I was surprised at a genre piece being accepted, but of course I was very happy. It was all the impetus I needed to keep going.

I have no idea if anyone ever read that story, there were of course no reviews, no comments, no feedback, but that was not unexpected, I am not stupid and I don’t think that I am greedy. I have placed a few other stories since then, and many, many rejection e mails, all par for the course.

The title may not fit. It is a story about grief and responses to loss, and to my mind the horror of the story is not the ‘thing’ that happens during the course of the story, but the main character’s ultimate response. Its genesis was a humorous story called ‘Bad Boy’. Once upon a time, everything I tried had to be comedy. However, it would not work for me. I decided to write bookends, both stories with a supernatural element, one funny, the other not. ‘Good Boy’ and ‘Bad Boy’ I don’t think the humorous version will ever be written now. Too much has happened to me to approach that any more.

The story is not true, of course, but the emotions spring from issues in my life, especially over the last seven years. I submitted it again to Pseudopod. The editor, Shawn Garrett, commented to me that “I very much liked the emotional honesty and weight of the piece,” and I really appreciate those remarks. They have included it in their most recent podcast, and I am glad that there is an opportunity for it to have a wider audience. If you would like to listen to it being read, please just click here.

 

Spoilers

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2014 at 8:39 pm

I read Derek Kunsken’s “The Dog’s Paw” in Ellen Datlow’s latest Best Horror of the Year. It is a true horror story, with startling imagery, and a presentation of a topsy turvey world that filled me with unease. I saw today that it is now available for listening on Pseudopod. I am still not sure of aspects of the story. Given the horror that it portrays, what can make it palatable for me in terms of judgement? Taken at face value, it is a recognition that something truly awful may be required, at least in the terrible universe described, and I can’t accept that. Is it a commentary on the ruthless imposition of values by outsiders?  Is it a depiction of the thing that cloaks itself in compassion so as to insinuate itself? Is it about the corruption of core beliefs from contact with authority, and the danger of the desire to please? I’m not sure about the premise, given the subject matter.

Far from home, I only read today of the cancellation in Sydney of part of the program of The Festival of Dangerous Ideas (and it was the first I had heard of this particular session). I have never thought of these presentations as being particularly dangerous – Christopher Hitchens speaking on atheism for example was hardly novel or earth shattering in a fairly secular city. Coincidentally, given the story above, the cancelled session was a presentation by an Islamic speaker, “Honour killings are morally justified”. The explanation by the convenor of both the thinking behind the session, and its cancellation, is interesting and gives food for thought. As a human, as a father of daughters, the idea that someone could muster an argument to speak for the affirmative is a horror story in itself.

The Best Horror of the Year 6

The Best Horror of the Year 6